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Obama, Hickenlooper enter into wildfire discussions

Staff Writer

President Obama met with eight governors, including Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, on Monday, June 9, to discuss wildfire preparedness efforts. The meeting took place via video-teleconference as part of the Western Governors Association annual meeting.

According to the White House Press Office, “The conversation was a continuation of the dialogue the President began in February when he met with a group of western governors to discuss the complex challenges presented by an increasingly dry future for the West … The President expressed his commitment to working closely with the governors as they deal with fires and their devastating impacts. He also reiterated the Administration’s commitment to fund wildfire suppression in a more responsible and effective way, a commitment that was included in his Fiscal year 2015 budget request.”

During the meeting, officials discussed the science available to aid in preparing for, and responding to, wildland fires. Discussions also focused on modernizing firefighting technologies in each state, such as airtankers, and forest management.

In addition to Hickenlooper, governors from Arizona, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho were in attendance. Several senior administration officials from Washington also weighed in during the meeting.

Obama expressed “that he looked forward to continuing to engage with the governors as they prepare their states for the impacts of changing climate,” the White House press release concluded.

shanti.johnson@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on June 12, 2014.